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Press Release


Media Contact: Scott Golden
(404) 842-8516,
scott.golden@wellpoint.com


Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia Foundation Grant Making Personalized Cancer Resources Available Statewide

American Cancer Society program connects newly-diagnosed to needed services

ATLANTA – Feb. 6, 2013 – Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia today announced that additional resources to help cancer patients are in the Peach State thanks to a $125,000 grant from its corporate foundation to the American Cancer Society.  The funds are supporting and sustaining nine Patient Navigator sites located throughout Georgia, which provide personalized information and support to individuals and families coping with cancer diagnoses.  As a result, the American Cancer Society is now able to offer these services on statewide basis.

"After someone is told they have cancer, they often don’t know what their next steps should be," said Roshini George, national vice president of health promotions for the American Cancer Society. "The Patient Navigator Program is designed to help those newly diagnosed patients and their caregivers by providing personal guidance and increased access to resources and support."

The American Cancer Society Patient Navigator Program creates one-on-one relationships between newly diagnosed patients and trained patient navigators, who provide information, support, and personal guidance throughout a cancer experience. Patient Navigators are available to help patients and their families face the psychological, emotional, and financial challenges that cancer can bring. The service is free and confidential, and places an emphasis on assisting medically underserved populations.

“In addition to the outstanding research they do, the American Cancer Society offers a wide variety of services and programs to help cancer patients,” said Morgan Kendrick, president of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia. “The American Cancer Society’s Patient Navigators are experts at understanding how to link patients and their families with the services and information they need. They bring everything together in a one-stop-shop type of way that helps to ease the stress of navigating the health care system so cancer patients can focus on getting better.”

American Cancer Society Patient Navigators are available to help patients at nine hospital sites throughout Georgia:  in metro Atlanta at Northeast Georgia Medical Center, Gwinnett Medical Center, Grady Health System, Northside Hospital, and Dekalb Medical Center; in Savannah at St. Joseph’s/Candler; in Macon at the Medical Center of Central Georgia; and in Albany at Phoebe Putney. 

Individuals and families can also access the Patient Navigator Program anytime of the day or night by calling 1-800-ACS-2345.
 
The American Cancer Society launched its Patient Navigator Program in 2005 in collaboration with community-based hospitals and cancer centers to decrease the fragmentation of cancer treatment services and increase access to cancer treatment among uninsured and underserved individuals. Through the program, the Society has placed trained staff in 134 hospitals and treatment centers across the country, as well as in centralized call centers serving large regions to assist cancer patients as they begin treatment. 

The grant dollars for Georgia’s programs are a part of a larger, $1.5 million commitment from Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia’s parent company foundation supporting 17 Patient Navigator programs in 14 states.

Through its State Health Index – a state-by-state compilation of public health measures – and Healthy Generations grant program, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia and its foundation work to identify the health issues most in need of attention and direct charitable support and volunteer efforts toward improving those areas. Expanding access to cancer care and information is a focus of the foundation.

“We are grateful for the continued support of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia  Foundation which is helping make a positive difference and providing support for cancer patients when they need it most,” George said.


About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia
Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia, Inc. and Blue Cross Blue Shield Healthcare Plan of Georgia, Inc. are independent licensees of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association. The Blue Cross Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Additional information about Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia is available at www.anthem.com. Also, follow us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/healthjoinin, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/HealthJoinInBCBSGa or visit our YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/healthjoinin.  


About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia Foundation
Through charitable grant making, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia Foundation LLC, an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association, promotes Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Georgia’s inherent commitment to enhance the health and well-being of individuals and families in communities that the company serves. The Foundation focuses its funding on strategic initiatives that address and provide innovative solutions to health care challenges, as well as promoting the Healthy Generations Program, a multi-generational initiative that targets specific disease states and medical conditions. These include: prenatal care in the first trimester, low birth weight babies, cardiac morbidity rates, long term activities that decrease obesity and increase physical activity, diabetes prevalence in adult populations, adult pneumococcal and influenza vaccinations and smoking cessation. The Foundation also coordinates the company’s annual associate giving campaign and its parent foundation provides a 50 percent match of associates’ campaign pledges. The Blue Cross and Blue Shield names and symbols are registered marks of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association.


About the American Cancer Society
The American Cancer Society combines an unyielding passion with nearly a century of experience to save lives and end suffering from cancer. As a global grassroots force of more than three million volunteers, we fight for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. We save lives by helping people stay well by preventing cancer or detecting it early; helping people get well by being there for them during and after a cancer diagnosis; by finding cures through investment in groundbreaking discovery; and by fighting back by rallying lawmakers to pass laws to defeat cancer and by rallying communities worldwide to join the fight. As the nation’s largest non-governmental investor in cancer research, contributing about $3.4 billion, we turn what we know about cancer into what we do. As a result, more than 11 million people in America who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will be celebrating birthdays this year. To learn more about us or to get help, call us any time, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.

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